Best Westerns sans Wayne and Eastwood..

Discussion in 'Movies & TV' started by RollTide, Jul 16, 2010.

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  1. RollTide

    RollTide All-Pro

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    Let's face it whenever we talk about the top 10 or top 25 westerns the list is dominated by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. The classic John Ford-John Wayne westerns or the Sergio Leone man with no name Eastwood, or Clint's films post Leone like High plains drifted, Pale rider and of course Unforgiven.

    Those films are outstanding but there are other Westerns that are every bit as good and every bit worth our attention.

    To distinguish these films from the hundreds of westerns made from the beginning of talking pictures i'm going to use the group approach or series approach where a great director gets together with a great actor and some great stories and the result is classic.

    The 3 groups i want to distinguish.

    1. Anthony Mann-Jimmy Stewart. Did 5 films in the early 50s. All but one are in color and all feature characters who are multidimensional and not easy to peg. You have characters who seem like decent guys early on who end up evil. Even the god guy characters played by Stewart have their moments and past histories. All 5 of these films are top 100 westerns.

    2. Budd Boetticher-Randolph Scott. Did 6 films together from 1957-1962. Movie themes are about honor and justice and Scott proves incredible longevity and consistency as the ultra tough no nonsense cowboy. Scott is the actor most often compared to John Wayne because he did mostly westerns and war pictures and he did at least 2 westerns a year from 1948-1964. This series represents Scott's best films.

    3. Sergio Corbucci. regarded as the #2 Italian western film maker behind Leone made at least 3 films that are classic westerns not just classic spaghetti westerns. His films are crazy and violent and his best film "The great silence" was banned in many countries because it doesn't end the way westerns are supposed to end. the bad guys win!
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  2. RollTide

    RollTide All-Pro

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    Anthony Mann-Jimmy Stewart.

    Winchester 73 1950

    Bend of the River 1952

    Naked Spur 1953

    The Far country 1954

    The man from Laramie 1955



    I own all these films and they are among my favorites. Winchester 73 is my least favorite only because it is in black and white since the other 4 films are so beautifully photographed. Despite being my least favorite of the series i would still rate it on a par with other great B&W westerns like Fort Apache or Rio Grande. It provides a nice historical background about the repeater rifle and how it won the west. Winchester 73 includes a truly great 1 on 1 gunfight on an Arizona mountain.

    My favorite film of the bunch is "Bend in the river" which is many ways personifies what the west was about. People moving west to change and improve their lives or run from their past. The fight here is for the food and supplies 100 people need along the Columbia river in Oregon. without those supplies they starve over the winter but a mining boom has made those supplies much more valuable and others want them.

    "The far country" is about redemption, family and community. Also beautifully shot in the pacific northwest.

    "Man from Laramie" is about a lot of things good and bad and is my second favorite of the group. Beautifully shot in New Mexico.

    Naked spur was filmed in the Rockies and Stewart's role here is almost like a bad guy? His best acting in the series is here because it is a very challenging role.
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